Director, School of Music; Professor - Saxophone
Michael Ibrahim is a multifaceted performer and an administrator deeply committed to creative expression and musical excellence in West Virginia. He currently serves as the Director of the School of Music at West Virginia University. Prior to this role, he was the Associate Director for the School of Music, and in the Office of the Provost, he served as the Faculty Reporting Officer and as an Academic Leadership Fellow.
Praised by Saxophone Journal, “The listener is in for an exciting musical ride,” Ibrahim has performed throughout the US and internationally. As a saxophonist at the center of New York City's contemporary and experimental music scene, Ibrahim has worked with ensembles including Amp Music, Either/Or, Fireworks Ensemble, International Contemporary Ensemble, Manhattan Sinfonietta, PRISM Quartet, Red Light New Music, SEM Ensemble, and Wet Ink. His solo and chamber music performances have taken place in venues such as Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Merkin Hall, Miller Theater, Symphony Space, and the Kitchen. He has won numerous competitions including the North American Saxophone Alliance Classical Artist Competition, the Eisenberg-Fried Concerto Competition for Woodwinds, the Coleman Chamber Music Competition, the MTNA Woodwind Collegiate Artist and Chamber Music Competitions, and a Darmstadt Performance Prize for Contemporary Music.
As a featured performer, he has performed at the World Saxophone Congress in Strasbourg, France, the International Saxophone Symposium in Fairfax, Virginia, the Asia Pacific Saxophone Academy in Bangkok, Thailand, and at the SaxArt Festival in Faenza, Italy. His solo and chamber music recordings appear on the Cala, Carrier, Mint, Newfangled, Omninova, and Teal Creek Music labels, and as an author, he published the book New Aesthetics in Contemporary Saxophone Music. Michael Ibrahim is a Conn-Selmer Artist and a D'Addario Performing Artist, and performs exclusively on Selmer Paris saxophones and D'Addario Reserve Classic reeds.
Born in Vancouver, Canada, Ibrahim studied at the University of Regina, the Université Européenne de Saxophone in France, and earned his Bachelor of Music degree with distinction from the University of Calgary, a Master of Music degree from Bowling Green State University, and his Doctor of Musical Arts from the Manhattan School of Music. Prior to West Virginia University, he taught at Columbia University, the University of Calgary, and at Mount Royal University. At WVU, he has served on the Faculty Executive Senate, the Faculty Senate, Graduate Council, the Oversight Committee for the Employment of Foreign Nationals, the Faculty Welfare Committee, and as the Chair of the Senate Committee for Research and Scholarship. He was awarded the Outstanding Teaching Award (2011), a Big XII Fellowship (2014), the Teaching with Technology Award (2015), and the Excellence in Research Award (2016). Most recently, he is co-founding the West Virginia Association of Music Schools, an organization dedicated to advancing the role of music in higher education and to enhancing the quality of the music educational system in West Virginia.
He is married to Allie Hamilton, an elementary music teacher in Morgantown, and they are devoted parents to their beautiful 5-year-old daughter, Elle, along with their dog and cat, Rex and Charlie.